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5/14/2018 Ruggerio applauds Supreme Court decision on sports betting
STATE HOUSE, Providence – President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio applauded today’s Supreme Court ruling on Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. The ruling frees states to offer sports betting.
President Ruggerio said, “In anticipation of this decision, I introduced legislation this year to enable sports betting at the facilities where it has been approved by voters already, Twin River in Lincoln and the new venue being constructed in Tiverton.”
The American Gaming Association estimated that $4.7 billion was wagered on Super Bowl 51 in 2017, of which 97 percent was illegal. Some $138.5 million was wagered legally in Nevada on that same Super Bowl.
The underground sports betting economy in the United States is worth roughly $150 billion each year. Until now, Rhode Islanders wishing to participate in this activity had to bring their money out-of-state, or play illegally.
“Enabling legal sports wagering in Rhode Island would provide revenue for critical state services while providing a new entertainment option for Rhode Islanders,” said President Ruggerio. “The state now has an opportunity to offer a legal means for Rhode Islanders to enjoy a form of entertainment in which many already engage. Sports gaming also provides the state with a revenue stream that supports critical priorities, such as investing in roads and schools, without increasing the tax burden on citizens.”
President Ruggerio’s legislation, 2018-S-2045, and the related budget article, are scheduled for hearing tomorrow afternoon at the Rise of the Senate in the Senate Lounge at a joint meeting of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs Committee (which reviews gaming matters).
In addition to Senate President Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence), the bipartisan list of sponsors includes Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick), Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown), Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), and Senator Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence).

For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Director of Communications for the Senate
State House Room 112
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 276-5558